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arthurlewis comments on Beware of Other-Optimizing - Less Wrong

79 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 10 April 2009 01:58AM

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Comment author: arthurlewis 10 April 2009 01:28:02PM 6 points [-]

"There's no problem with you" can have a lot of persuasive weight as a response to a comment about what may or may not be a problem with CronoDAS. All things being equal, choosing the option that makes you look better is a fairly common bias.

Also, your status as a member of the lesswrong community and your tone, implying you've understood his particular situation, both lend you a slight boost in authority above random-person-on-the-Internet. I don't know whether this boost is trivial or not, but I think Eliezer is proposing a general rule which, although it will overshoot its mark, will guard against biasing the advisee, even in cases where you'd think it wouldn't be an issue. I believe there was an OB article on these sorts of rules, but I can't figure out what to search for.